Names in the news, Oct. 14

Posted Oct. 13, 2011, at 6:43 p.m.

Veteran journalist Ted Koppel (photo) is joining Brian Williams’ newsmagazine on NBC. NBC announced Thursday that the longtime “Nightline” anchor joins Harry Smith and Meredith Vieira as correspondents on “Rock Center.” Since leaving ABC News in 2005, Koppel has done work for the Discovery Channel and NPR. The newsmagazine debuts at 10 p.m. Oct. 31. “My goal is to make ‘Rock Center’ the Cooperstown of our craft,” Williams said. “Ted is a consensus Hall of Famer, joining the best team of men and women on the air today.” Kate Snow, Richard Engel, Dr. Nancy Snyderman and the “Today” show team of Matt Lauer and Ann Curry are also listed as contributors to the newsmagazine. Koppel started “Nightline” and for 25 years was its driving force. While he’s associated with ABC, he began his career as an NBC News page. … Being George Clooney may be its own reward, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get a trophy every now and then — which is precisely what will go down Oct. 24 at the Hollywood Film Festival’s awards gala. Celebrated for his work in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” Clooney will take home the Hollywood Actor Award for his portrayal of an offish father of two confronting his life after his wife suffers an accident. Michelle Williams will nab the actress counterpart to Clooney’s statue for her work in “My Week With Marilyn,” while Christopher Plummer of “Beginners” and Carey Mulligan of “Grace” take the best supporting categories. … Alec Baldwin is preparing for life after “30 Rock,” working with New York public radio on an interview show that will be available via podcast starting Oct. 24. The first interview posted will be with actor Michael Douglas, who talks about watching “Glee” with his young daughter. Other interviews to follow will be with Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins, reality-show celebrity Kris Kardashian Jenner, comic Chris Rock, actress Kathleen Turner, author Erica Jong and veteran talk-show host Dick Cavett, station WNYC said Thursday.

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